HOW TO CHARACTERIZE THE REDMAN LETTER?
by Bill Smythe
Editor's comment: Although Bill Smythe's views expressed here are not very different than my own, I disagree that "there is nothing to hit." Redman should have confined himself to issues in his reply to Sloan, but instead chose to "hit" his adversary with negative comments of a personal nature that were unrelated to these issues.
Even if Sloan was not a candidate, this would be an inappropriate political hit letter, which attempts to destroy an annoying critic rather than replying to the points he has made. The fact that he is a candidate makes the letter a greater offense, as it establishes a dangerous precedent. Still worse, this attack letter was sent by the USCF office, in the USCF name and at federation expense. I agree that Sloan has no chance to be elected, but in a democratic election, every candidate is entitled to equal treatment.
In a situation calling for serious discussion of issues, Redman has engaged in character assassination instead. Call it "hit letter" or "attack letter" or whatever, it was astonishing to see the USCF President resorting to such tactics. Surely the highest officer in the Federation can do better than a personal attack when a calm, factual reply regarding the points Sloan raised would have been not only more appropriate, but also more effective.